So before the season began, I don't think anyone would have been too surprised or upset at a 4-6 record at this point in conference. Obviously the bar was raised somewhat due to how this young team began the season, but a dose of reality was starting to set in with some closer than expected wins near the end of December. And of course, the conference is a very deep conference this year resulting in very few "gimmes". We currently sit 8th in the conference at 4-6 (most teams have played 11 games) and there is a little separation between us and 7th. As bad as January was, we are still an NCAA tourney team, probably around a 10 seed. So how does the rest of the season play out?
Breaking down the remaining schedule in categories of "should win", "could win" and "surprise win", I think there are 3 shoulds (home games with psu, nw and ill), 4 coulds (home against iowa and wisky, at iu and nw) and 3 surprise (at msu, at purdue, at md). I wouldn't say going 5-5 is good or bad, just kinda expectations at this point based on the first half of conference play. Now, I think we are capable of better if we take care of the ball (first half of Rutgers, not second half), get some consistent shooting and Kaleb can stay out of foul trouble. I expect we will remain somewhat inconsistent and finish the conference with a 9-11 record which would probably have us 8th in conference. Our non-conference slate isn't looking nearly as good as once thought, but the win @Cincy will help our cause and I think will get us in the tourney if we do end u 9-11. We would probably have to avoid a bad loss in the first game of the B1G to keep us safely in and off the bubble.
We are capable of winning a game as a 9 or 10 seed, but we aren't going to make it past the first weekend. Obviously the games need to play out, but if thats how the season finished, I'd have to say its better than just about everyone expected and a pretty good building block for the next couple of seasons.